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Sunday, March 11, 2007 

Three Kings

"1970 somethin'..."

'72 to be exact. Christopher Wallace was born and ten years ago, on March 9th, 1997 he was taken from us. I've always celebrated his life in my own way but on this 10th anniversary of his passing, my tradition of playing his music all day long was aided and abetted by a few stellar mixtapes. On Thursday the 8th, around 10pm I started by listening to READY TO DIE from beginning to end before putting in Mr. Cee's first tribute mixtape from a few years ago. As the morning of the 9th rolled around, I woke up to BED-STUY MEETS BLUE EYES, the Frank Sinatra/Biggie mashup. During the day, Mr. Cee's latest 10th Anniversary 2-CD tribute was the soundtrack. As the sunlight faded, day turned to dusk and the temperature dropped, Mick Boogie's TRIBUTE TO BIGGIE SMALLS (which crushes that DUETS album that came out in late '05) hosted by Diddy himself ended things on an extremely high note. I listened to the black Frank White's timeless vocals over the instrumentals to recent hits and realized that even though he's gone, he is still the King of NY and yes, we'll always love Big Poppa.


Sometimes "super soldier" serum isn't enough. Captain America is dead, his life claimed by three sniper bullets to the abdomen. The issue hit newsstands this past Wednesday and Marvel, to their credit, was able to keep this Earth-shattering and dramatic turn of events under wraps unlike DC and their Doomsday/"The Death of Superman" debacle back in '93. Steve Rogers wasn't killed by some disposable villian or all-powerful alien but rather a simple, cowardly assassin as he climbed the steps of New York's Federal Courthouse, still clad in his iconic and timeless red, white and blue costume. Rogers was 66.

"He hasn't been living in the modern world and the world does move," says Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Queseda.

Queseda said he wanted to readers find their own meaning in Cap's end.

"There is a lot to be read in there. But I'm not one who is going to tell people, this is what you should read into it, because I could look into it and read several different types of messages," he told CNN.

The CNN story (please watch to get the full story on the current "CIVIL WAR" storyline) also asks how “real” the death is, to which Quesada replied:

"There was period in comics where characters would just die and then be resurrected. And the death had very little meaning and the resurrection had very little meaning," he said. "All I ask of my writers is if you're going to kill a character off, please let that death have some meaning in the overall scope of things."


At a messageboard yesterday I learned that on Wednesday March 7, director Andy Sidaris had succumb to throat cancer and passed away at the age of 76 . Shockingly, a lot of people (at an adult movie forum, no less) didn't even know who he was. I attempted to explain:

"Anyone that spent any considerable amount of time awake late-nights back in the late '80s and early '90s should know his work even if you don't know his name. Without Mr. Sidaris I might not have ever known who Julie Strain was (who, oddly enough, is married to Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

Director Andy Sidaris, left, and actress Julie Strain during the production for the movie RETURN TO SAVAGE BEACH in this file photo from 1997, in Malibu, Calif. Sidaris started his career in television sports and finished it surrounded by scantily-clad B-movie beauties.

I think my first look at his movies came in '88 at a buddy's house, when I saw PICASSO TRIGGER (and by association, Roberta Vasquez...sooooo my type!) on Cinemax. I followed his "bullets and babes" movies from that point on, right up 'til RETURN TO SAVAGE BEACH in 1998. His casts (consisting primarily of Playmates and Penthouse Pets) intersected perfectly with my growing interest in the Playboy Empire at the time. It was a good time to be a fan of both."

Rest in peace, all of you.